Abu Dhabi’s Masdar has completed five new solar and wind projects in Pacific island nations as part of the UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund (UAE-PPF), helping the countries save more than US$1 million in diesel fuel imports.
The projects signify the completion of the second cycle of the UAE-PPF, a $50m initiative that finances renewable energy projects across the Pacific. This is done using grants from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), with the projects delivered by Masdar in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
“A core part of our mission is to help countries achieve sustainable development,” said Mohammed Al Suwaidi, the director general of the ADFD. “In the Pacific islands, securing a stable and efficient supply of clean energy is a critical pillar of each nation’s growth strategy.”
Coupled with the first cycle’s six projects, the small-scale wind and solar projects will help to generate 6.5 megawatts of power across 11 countries.
The first two cycles will save 3.2 million litres of diesel fuel annually, which is a welcome sign for these countries as many of lack natural resources. They must rely almost exclusively on imported diesel to generate power, passing import costs to customers via high electricity bills .
The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) said the fund helped the islands to pursue diversified energy strategies. “The falling cost of renewable energy offers an opportunity for islands to rethink their energy strategies and implement programmes that create jobs and economic opportunity, all while delivering more reliable electricity services,” said Adnan Amin, Irena’s director general.
The latest projects include a 1MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in the Solomon Islands, a 500-kilowatt solar PV plant in Nauru, a 600kW solar PV plant in the Marshall Islands and a 600kW solar PV plant in Micronesia.
Palau, which consists of 250 islands, had three projects including two solar-diesel hybrid plants totalling 450kW as well as 1.7kW in solar home systems installed across 100 residences.
Mohamed Al Ramahi, Masdar’s chief executive, said these projects proved that renewable energy was capable of meeting requirements in some of the world’s most remote and challenging geographies.
“Each project was highly customised to the needs of the local community, reflecting Masdar’s core belief that renewable projects must be innovative – and in some cases multipurpose – and developed through strong collaboration with local counterparts,” he said.
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